"...the ability to self teach is the most important skill for any person to master."
I believe the ability to self teach is the most important skill for any person to master.
Self teaching is the gateway to the mastery of any skill that a person desires to have. It opens up your life and what you can learn in it. In our younger days, as we go through school, information is handed to us and we are not expected (or encouraged really) to extend beyond that information. It is my opinion that school is not really about learning so much as it's about memorizing. So when you get done with school, you become an adult, you get out in the real world, and information is not going to be handed to you the same way that it was during your school years, with the exception of things that are within your immediate career.
So what does this mean? It means that all your life you have only been trained to learn the things that you’ve been told to learn and then, all of a sudden, there is no one to give you new things to learn.
If you want to continue to learn and grow after your first 18 (or 22, if you choose the college route) years of life, you're going to have to pursue those things that you want to know on your own time and you're going to have to learn how to self teach.
You have to learn to use the resources that are handed to you, whether that be books, magazines, or the internet. Especially learn to utilize the internet properly. We live in one of the greatest times in human history where, with the internet, we have the sum of human history, human knowledge, thinking, and development, right at our fingertips.
Most people have smartphones nowadays and with a smartphone you can access the internet from anywhere. If you have access to the internet you have access to pretty much unlimited knowledge.
You can learn anything,
you just have to master the ability to self teach and have the necessary discipline. I think in that sense school does us a disservice because it gets our brains in the habit of two things: 1) only learning what is handed to us and 2) teaching us a disdain for learning because we see it as something we have to do and not something that we want to do.
A way to summarize the self teaching is this: to have the ability to grasp and excel in anything that you have interest in, or any field that you find yourself in. With that, there comes a sense of self reliance, and self reliance leads to others relying on you. And others relying on you is one of the many marks of a good man.
Seek knowledge, value wisdom, and learn more on your own than anyone ever asks of you.
Below is a video where I talk about the same topic